The Shaw Family of Staten Island: Elizabeth Gaskell's American friends

Gilchrist, M. (1995) The Shaw Family of Staten Island: Elizabeth Gaskell's American friends. Gaskell Society Journal, 9, pp. 1-12.

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Elizabeth Gaskell’s article, “Robert Gould Shaw”, in Macmillan’s Magazine, Cambridge, vol. IX, December 1863, is one of her less well-known pieces of journalism. She outlined the life and death - at the head of a black regiment in the American Civil War - of the 25-year-old only son of her friend, Sarah Shaw of Staten Island, New York. The article’s chief value at the time was as propaganda for the abolitionist and Union causes, while the British government considered recognising the Confederacy for the sake of the cotton trade. The author all but canonised her subject in her efforts to appeal to her readers’ emotions. However, notwithstanding its historical interest as propaganda, the article repays closer attention; for behind the eulogy lies the story of a talented, courageous family, and an image of heroism still poignant and pertinent after 132 years.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Elizabeth Gaskell, Sarah Blake Sturgis Shaw, Robert Gould Shaw, 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Staten Island, Abolitionism, Unitarianism, Boston, Francis George Shaw, Josephine Shaw Lowell, Harriet Martineau, Robert Lowell, James Russell Lowell, Glory (film), Augustus Saint-Gaudens, American Civil War, Battery Wagner, Charleston
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gilchrist, Dr Marianne
Authors: Gilchrist, M.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BX Christian Denominations
E History America > E151 United States (General)
F History United States, Canada, Latin America > F001 United States local history
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Journal Name:Gaskell Society Journal
Publisher:The Gaskell Society

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